Wellington City Libraries

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Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Month: June 2008 Page 2 of 3

Subtext08 Event – Tawa

Subtext08 is beginning soon (the 18th of July, to be exact), and this year’s programme will have more library events that in previous years. Registration details will be posted soon!

Here are the details of the Tawa library event.

Creative Jam
Mervyn Kemp Library
Wednesday 23rd July 6pm to 8pm

Street Art sketching workshop – featuring local artist John Wareham

Tawa resident, John Wareham will share some of his street art techniques with you. Come along and pick up a few tips to impress your mates!

There will be food and drink, music, and entertainment. (And did I mention food?)

Happy (almost) birthday, Teen Blog

It’s (almost) been a year since this Teen Blog began, so we figured it was time for a new look! So here it is. Nice, clean, and sans-serif.

Horizon 08: RiZing of Kiwi Cultures

“Satisfy Your Cravings”  – a team of students from Rongotai College, St Mary’s College, Wellington Girls’ College, and Te Kura Kaupapa o Nga Mokopuna – presents a day of free entertainment for  youth, by  youth (‘for rangitahi, by rangitahi).  There’s a great line-up including comedy duo The Laughing Samoans,  the  Musical Island Boys, and DJs from the Whiteria DJ School.

Head down to Te Papa this Sunday.  Events will be held throughout the museum.   For more info, check out Te Papa’s web page or become Horizon 08’s Bebo buddy .

But wait, there’s more

That’s right, more new books. Free!*

*(if borrowed on a YA card)

  •  Secret Schemes and Daring Dreams, by Rosie Rushton (215 pages) – What would happen, asks this book’s back cover, if Jane Austen’s Emma was set in the 21st Century? Rosie Rushton has also adapted Northanger Abbey for the 21st Century into Summer of Secrets.
  • The Ashleys, by Melissa de la Cruz (247 pages) – The first in what threatens to be another series of books about the rich and glamorous at a Prepatory School for Girls. The Ashleys (a group of rich and glamorous girls all named Ashley) are in danger of losing their popularity. Catastrophe!
  • The Clique series, by Lisi Harrison – There are nine of these now, and if you like The Ashleys (or Gossip Girl) you may like these books about rich, glamorous girls with “deeply tanned, Chanel No. 19-scented hands.”
  • Bloodline, by Katy Moran (308 pages) – “In the wild landscape of Dark Age Britain, Essa is abandoned by his father in a lonely marsh-village trapped between two warring kingdoms. Destined to become tangles in the bitter feud, Essa’s part on it is more important than he ever dreamed” (Book cover). This is very good introduction to historical fiction; according to a reviewer on Amazon.co.uk it is “beautifully and evocatively written, and impeccably researched”.
  • Feasting the Wolf, by Susan Price (308 pages) – Two friends sail off with a Viking raiding party, hoping for the glory and honour of battle. But the “arrows of war threaten to pierce their loyalty, the axes to sever their friendship”. Very exciting stuff.

Books that be new, arrrr

We have a lot of new books in the teen collection. Here’s some of the ones that stand out from the rest:

  • Mississippi Jack : Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and the Lily of the West, by L. A. Meyer (611 pages) – It is 1806 and Jacky Faber’s adventures continue as she sails down the Mississippi, avoiding capture by the British and having a right old lark.
  • Back and Beyond : NZ Painting for the Young and Curious, by Gregory O’Brien (111 pages) – This beautiful book looks at the history and significance of New Zealand art, and is full of illustrations. A great introduction to art history.
  • Airhead, by Meg Cabot (340 pages) – A girl receives a ‘full-body transplant’, and becomes the world’s most famous teen supermodel. Drama ensues!
  • Lock and Key : A Novel, by Sarah Dessen (422 pages) – This sounds lovely. Abandoned by her alcoholic mother, Ruby is taken in by her sister who she hasn’t seen for ten years. She learns, “what makes a family, how to allow people to help her when she needs it, and that she too has something to offer others.”
  • Unwind, by Neal Shusterman (335 pages) – If that last book wasn’t your cup of tea, you may like this: “In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would ‘unwind’ them.”
  • Shakespeare’s Apprentice, by Veronica Bennett (239 pages) – An apprentice actor in Shakespeare’s theatre company falls in love for Lord Essex’s niece. Will their forbidden romance end tragically? No.
  • Frostbite : A Vampire Academy Novel, by Richelle Mead (327 pages) – This is the second in a planned series of books. Apparently it stands out from other vampire novels, and after reading the first paragraph I have to admit to wanting to keep reading. Though frankly I would think twice about any school named ‘St Vladimir’s’.


Zon is “an unique interactive massively multiplayer online role playing game for learning Mandarin Chinese.” It’s browser-based, so you don’t need to download anything (maybe Flash). You can design your avatar (mine is the height of style), become a citizen of Zon and eventually begin your own business and add content to the world. Which is very cool, especially as you learn about Chinese language and culture while playing!

Seen Seekers?

Recently a film called The Seeker : The Dark is Rising was released. It is based on The Dark is Rising, the first second book in a series written by Susan Cooper in the 1960s and 1970s. We have two reviews of the DVD; one is by someone who had read the books before seeing the film, and the other is by someone who has never read the books.

Read More


Wikipedia is an amazing resource, and although anyone can edit it, many of the entries are fairly reliable (though probably shouldn’t be used as the final word on a topic). I enjoy reading articles on Wikipedia that introduce new and interesting things to me; peoples, places, and events that I hadn’t heard of before.

Everyone like a good mystery, and here are some of the weirder & spookier articles/lists:

  • List of Cryptids – Cryptids are creatures whose existence is a mystery, either because they’re recently exinct, or fictitious, or just unknown. The Caspian Tiger, the yeti, and creepy Mothman are examples.
  • The Bloop – in 1997, underwater monitors detected an immense ‘bloop’ sound that originated near South America. The sound was similar to the sound a living creature would make … a HUGE living creature.
  • Uncontacted People – Incredibly there are still groups of people in the world who have very little or even no contact with the rest of the planet. Most are in the South American rainforests, but there are also some off the coast of India.
  • List of Mysterious People – They are people. They are mysterious.
  • List of Ghost Towns – Sometimes towns and cities are abandoned (usually when something bad happens), leaving what’s left to deteriorate and be spooky. Disappointingly, there aren’t any listed in New Zealand.
  • Hatepe Eruption – One of the largest volcanic eruptions in recent times (well, 1900 years ago) was in New Zealand, when Lake Taupo erupted. The sky turned red in Rome! Chillingly, Lake Taupo is dormant and not extinct. The mystery is when it will erupt next. Hopefully not when I’m visiting, I tell you what.

New Audio-visual stuff

A stack of new CDs has arrived. Here is the list. Hours of listening pleasure awaits!


  • Step Up 2: The Streets – Various. This is a soundtrack to a film about dancing in the rain, judging from the cover.
  • Set in Stone – Brian McFadden. Ex-Westlife member and bingo caller, this is his second solo album.
  • Juno – Various. This is another soundtrack, but with much better music.
  • Riot – Paramore. This band from Tennessee is big in alternative music circles.
  • Bittersweet World – Ashlee Simpson. Not so big in alternative music circles.
  • Blackout – Britney Spears.
  • Beautiful Machine – Shihad. Did you know that Shihad formed 20 years ago? I’ve seen Jon Toogood shopping at the supermarket, interestingly.
  • Hard Candy – Madonna. I can’t quite picture Madonna pushing around a shopping trolley.
  • Rockferry – Duffy. She has the highest-selling album in the UK this year.
  • Clubbers’ Guide ’08 – Various.
  • Konk – The Kooks.
  • Keep Me On Your Side – Goodnight Nurse. The album cover is cool! It moves!



New CHERUB book…

Robert Muchamore’s latest CHERUB book, The General, is due out in September. You can check out the cover at his website. So what happens? The back cover says:

The world’s largest urban warfare training ground stands in the desert near Las Vegas. Forty British commandos are being hunted by an entire American battalion.

But their commander has an ace up his sleeve: he plans to smuggle in ten CHERUB agents, and fight the best war game ever.

CHERUB agents have one crucial advantage: adults never suspect that kids are spying on them…

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